Three years ago, WWE Books and DK Publishing released the WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide. That book featured over 200 superstar profiles of current and former WWE talent, and featured illustrations by Daz Tibbles. You can check out my review of that first edition here.
On March 6th, WWE and DK team up once more to publish the WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide 2nd Edition. This edition is more of the same; it features over 200 profiles of current and former stars. The big difference here, other than the inclusion of stars who weren’t on the roster in 2015 and the removal of other stars, is this one has ditched the art in favor of using real pictures.
I liked the art in the first one. It reminded me of the WWE All Stars game and also resembled the Ultimate Marvel Character Guide (also by DK) that I was a big fan of. With that said, I think ditching the cartoon art will make this edition have more broader appeal and moved it more in the direction of being like a mini-encyclopedia.
This second edition also did away with the little icons under the superstars name that showed some of their accomplishments (Hall of Fame, main event WrestleMania, championships won, etc.) and didn’t take up much space. That’s really the only complaint I would have because it was such a little thing but really did add to the superstar overviews. It’s a shame that it didn’t return.
The images above showcase how this book looks. There’s 208 pages, and there is one wrestler (or team) profiled on each page. These pages contain one big picture, one smaller picture, a super stats section, some tidbit, and a paragraph about the superstar. Some of them have “did you know?” boxes. It’s the same format as the first edition, and it works very well. It’s a better format than the DK published WWE Encyclopedias, but then those cover all the superstars (in addition to other stuff) and have to cover multiple stars per page.
Not everyone who appeared in the first edition is covered in this one, and that’s to be expected. Most of the legends are still the same, but you won’t find the likes of Jack Swagger, Zeb Colter, or Veronica Lane (and others of course) in the second edition. Why would you?
There is a notable exception though, and while I’m not a fan of the guy it is still disappointing that the legendary Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan is not included. He is one of the biggest stars in the history of the industry and was the star of eight of the first nine WrestleMania’s. He was also on the cover of the first edition. I get that it’s not the encyclopedia, which is pretty much the only thing that will include the likes of Chris Benoit of all people, but how can Hogan not be covered when The Berzerker is? Also, no Bobby Heenan this time.
One welcome addition that this edition has that the first does not is an index. They’re in alphabetical order (first name), so finding a specific superstar is relatively easy anyway, but an index is always nice to have.
As you would expect from the talented folks at DK, it’s a well put together and nice looking hardcover book. It is the same size dimensions as the first edition (7.6 x 0.8 x 9.6 inches), which is smaller than the usual WWE/DK hardcover which is nice. The book is written by Jake Black, who is a co-author of a WWE/DK book that’s scheduled to release in May (RAW: The First 25 Years).
The WWE Ultimate Superstar Guide 2nd Edition releases March 6th for a suggested retail price of $17 (you can and should pre-order it now on Amazon for $10.38). If you’re a wrestling fan or collector of these books, then this one is a must-own.
The Ultimate WWE Superstar Guide 2nd Edition gets a four of five: GREAT.
* A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review.